I did a CELTA course earlier this summer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and was recently thinking about the things I’d learned as I try to apply them to my current university course. Below are some of the key points from the CELTA course. Feel free to leave others in the comment section below.


Authentic language – don’t teach inauthentic dialogues or pronunciation
Boarding – prepare your board work and make it clear and logical
Chesting – demonstrate an activity by chesting the material prior to distributing it around the class
Communicative – language is about communication, so students need to be talking in order to learn
Controlled and freer practice – allow students a chance to use the language in activities that first involve limited choice, and then get freer
Echoing – don’t do it!
Eliciting – try to elicit meaning and grammar labels from students
Fluency and accuracy – these are different; it is most important to build fluency, so don’t worry when accuracy slips except in controlled practice
Graded language – don’t speak too fast, use too many idioms, or overly complex grammar; avoid too much Teacher Talk Time (TTT)
Instructions – make them clear and precise; practice in advance; if necessary, use Instruction Check Questions (ICQs)
Lead-in – activate schemata by offering an interesting, relevant lead-in activity
MPF – (meaning, form pronunciation) for all new vocabulary, demonstrate meaning clearly, then work on P and F with drilling and modelling; use Concept Check Questions (CCQs) to check M
Personalization – use photos and stories from your own life to build rapport with students
Pairwork – always give students time to discuss with a partner after an activity and before reporting back
Phonology – work on word stress, linkage, phonemes, etc
Planning – work on lesson plans and language analyses to ensure successful lessons
Sit back – teacher shouldn’t be talking too much or monitoring obtrusively
TTT – keep it to a minimum